About 17.7 million people die each year from cardiovascular disease, an estimated 31% of all deaths worldwide. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, for both men and women.
The prevalence of cardiovascular disease means that cardiologists, as well as other clinicians across a range of specialties, need to be prepared for their patients who come with lots of questions about their condition.
Simply informing your patient about their disease nowadays isn't enough. A good provider needs to be patient-centered in their delivery of care and actually helping the patients understand the disease and what causes it, as well as treatment options.
Involving your patients in their decisions about treatment options, and the overall disease processes can ensure the better health outcomes. However, explaining the cardiovascular disease to the patient can be a daunting task.
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) designed CardioSmart Heart Explorer app to enhance the clinician/patient discussion at the point of care, particularly about most common heart problems and treatment options.
Heart Explorer is another app in ACC's CardioSmart series. We already reviewed CardioSmart Med Reminder app, a free tool that works as a simple reminder app with a goal to help patients with coronary artery diseases and heart failure stay adherent to their treatment plan.
CardioSmart Heart Explorer has a different concept tho. It is mainly a multimedia app that offers a range of interactive animations, heart models, and videos to help patients visualize and understand the processes (conditions and treatments) their providers are explaining to them at the point of care.
Previously known only as CardioSmart Explorer (for Members), the app was available only to the members of the American College of Cardiology with a subscription, while the non-members had to pay $3.99 to use the app.
Meanwhile, the ACC made their Heart Explorer app free to everyone, including cardiologists and other healthcare providers, as well as patients and their caregivers.
The app will require some time to download. There's about 227 MB that will be available offline once downloaded to your device.
Once downloaded, the Heart Explorer app opens with the list of interactive animations, grouped in several categories, including Rotate and Animate, Normal, Vascular, Muscular, Valves, and Electrical.
Rotate and Animate category provides the animations of the basic heart anatomy for particular systems including Ribs, Muscular, Arteries, Veins, and so on.
Each of these animations provide the well-designed 3D animated model of the pumping heart with a particular system emphasized. For example Muscular shows a full view of the heart, the Arteries emphasizes the vascular view, while the Electrical System provides a better look at the sinoatrial node and the electrical impulses starting in the right atrium.
Besides viewing the animated models, users can also choose to view interactive (non-animated) models by tapping on 'labels' at the right bottom part of the screen, and view annotations for the parts of the anatomy, or to rotate the model.
The navigation between the systems is also available once the model view is opened, by scrolling the screen up and down.
Normal category tries to explain normal anatomy and functions of the heart, such as left and right blood flow, as well as four chambers flow.
The rest of the categories explain common cardiovascular pathologies grouped by the parts of the heart involved, for example, heart attack (vascular), cardiomyopathy, valvular diseases, and electrical problems with the heart (fibrillation). Each of these pathologies is explained in same, easy-to-understand manner, thanks to the amazing animations and 3D models.
Besides these animations and models, CardioSmart Heart Explorer app also includes Media Gallery that provides interactive content (draw and swipe) and high-quality videos, which are both are trying to explain common cardiovascular conditions, such as atherosclerosis, heart attack, atrial fibrillation, as well as common procedures and treatment options, including stenting, mitral valve clip, catheter ablation, pacemaker, and more.
Interactive content requires users to draw on the heart image (Occlusion Interactive) or follow instructions and move their finger in the direction suggested by the yellow arrow to demonstrate the particular procedure. For example in Stenting Interactive, users bring the balloon into the stenosis, pre-dilate, withdraw the balloon, etc.
The instructional videos are short and non-narrated, lasting from a couple of seconds to little more than 1 minute, which is perfect for demonstrations at the point of care.
The app is super easy-to-use and follow, even for users who don’t have a medical background. However, it is primarily intended to enhance the physician/patient discussion about common heart problems.
I can only conclude that the CardioSmart Heart Explorer app is an amazing resource for cardiologists and other clinicians to discuss cardiovascular diseases and treatment options with their patients.
Benefit: The app is intended to improve the communication between clinicians and their patients regarding cardiovascular disease and procedures.